Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT-Post Senior Bowl

The college season is over , the NFL playoffs are done, The college all star games are done and the Superbowl is next . That means the first 30 picks (except for a possible Baltimore/Dallas coin flip) are set now. A record number of underclassmen(98) has made this draft special . Unlike last season the 2014 draft has the potential to be great . With anywhere from 2 to 5 potential franchise QB's , 3 possible top 10 OT's, and 3 pass rushers with top 5 ability, and a few possible # 1 WR's . Many of those players would probably have been more worthy of the # 1 pick than any player from the 2013 draft .NFL Player comparisons have been added .So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit. The comp is for on the field play only ,and the higher they are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison. This is not a ranking of top picks though. This is how we see the draft going whether we agree with the picks or not. This draft is really deep at RB  ,WR ,and O-line . So if your team needs any of those there should be plenty of quality players throughout the top 2 rounds at those positions . After all the medicals & background checks are done by teams I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with over 40 players with a 1rst round grade this season. Last year we only had 19 players rated as 1rst round picks .Jacksonville did everything it could to screw up their chance at the best possible franchise QB.  The Jags double wuppin of Houston has cost themselves Bridgewater ,and the Texans are now in the driver seat. They should take him and we believe their new coach will feel the same . Now that both Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley are going back to school QB's are at even more of a premium. We have had our 1rst major injury in the pre-draft process. Unfortunately Oklahoma CB/S Aaron Colvin suffered a torn ACL at the senior bowl. Colvin had been playing very well and he was at least a 2nd round pick ,with a chance to sneak into the back of the first, We would be surprised if he was taken before the 4th round now. Our thoughts and Prayers wish him a speedy recovery.

* Is for a player with possible injury issues now or in his past.
#Is for a player with possible character or maturity issues now or in his past.

1.HOUSTON-TEDDY BRIDGEWATER-QB-NFL COMP-LOUISVILLE-AARON RODGERS-GB- yep... they lost twice to the jags...okay? Anyway, it helps them a ton so their fans should be happy as Teddy officially declared for the draft on new years day. They are now getting the clear cut #1 QB in the draft and a guy who has what Matt Schaub doesn't . Schaub's guaranteed portion of his contract is about done. The Texans didn't win this season, and although they were kind enough to let him start the final after he had already lost his job, his time as a Texan should be up . Bridgewater not only has the high football IQ and accuracy that Schaub showed in his prime, but he also has the strong arm, quick eyes, pocket presence, poise,  and foot speed that Schaub has always lacked. If this happens I expect the talented Texans to get healthy and make a quick turnaround like the Chiefs did this year. Bridgewater is younger and has a higher upside than Alex Smith though. To be clear I see Teddy as a clear cut franchise QB that ANY team should be falling all over themselves to pick.  I bet coach O'brien (a QB guru) will take Teddy if the choice is up to him . O'Brien has had pocket passers throughout his coaching career, Bridgewater is the best pocket passer in the draft. The only thing that could count against Teddy is his size. Most of O'briens past QB's had bigger frames than Bridgewater . If the Texans take him this could be the pick that finally puts their franchise over the top.

***TRADE*** The RAIDERS trade their #1 picks(#5 ) in this draft and their #1 pick in 2015 for the RAMS #2 overall pick***

2.RAIDERS-(stl,wash)-*JOHNNY MANZIEL-QB-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-FRAN TARKENTON-(ret)- Hopefully by now the raiders have realized Terrell Pryor is a great athlete that could be the next MEGATRON with some coaching, time, and effort .Matt Mcgloin looks like he could develop into a solid backup but he doesn't have "IT". Love him or hate him (and I have found myself feeling both from time to time) Manziel makes big plays at the best times , and he definitely has "IT". "JOHNNY FOOTBALL" is a proven winner in big games in college, and he doesn't turn the ball over. His lack of height (reportedly (6 foot 1 or 6 feet ) and potential off the field troubles make it a certainty he goes behind the reliable Bridgewater . If he stays out of trouble his leadership, poise, almost supernatural ability to extend plays & avoid the rush make me think he could be a winner in the NFL too. That was before this seasons improvements. Already this year he has shown improved mechanics, an improved ability at reading defenses , and a stronger arm . Even more surprising is his new willingness to buy time with his feet, and then throw the ball, instead of just taking off running like last season. He will ignite the fan base and spearhead a quick turnaround for a talented team. If he stays out of trouble and stays healthy this gamble could pay off long term. The raiders finally have the cap room to make some positive off season moves  . Resigning DE Lamar Houston and Tackle Jared Veldheer should be their first priorities. After that they now have the cap room to fill holes with veterans and be competitive. Dennis Allen deserves at least one shot with a legitimate NFL roster .

 3.JACKSONVILLE-#*JADAVIAN CLOWNEY-DE/OLB-S.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-MARIO WILLIAMS-BUFF-I no longer have any faith in Blaine Gabbert to be a NFL starter. If  you brought in Tebow they would have at least won games and sold tickets. This year they had a golden chance at the #1 pick and the  franchise QB they needed, but they beat the Texans twice and pissed the dream away . With the only 2 QB's worth a pick this high off the board the Jags take the once a decade DE for coach Bradley's defense. With Jason Babin having a down year this season , turning 34 next year, and having a 6 million dollar salary as well, this makes even more sense. Barring one of them screwing the pooch in the pre-draft process I feel confident that Bridgewater ,Manziel, and Clowney will be the first 3 players off the board . The only question is what teams they end up on. They really need to take a QB in the 2nd though. Jimmy Garoppollo could be the guy.

4.BROWNS-#SAMMY WATKINS-WR-CLEM-NFL COMP-PIERRE GARCON-WASH-Since they let pocket passing QB guru Norv Turner leave for Minnesota I played along with the Johnny Manziel rumors for a couple of weeks, but I still think this is just one big smoke screen . The browns leaking to multiple outlets they want Manziel screams that they are hoping to get someone to trade up with or ahead of them for him . I am guessing they will sign or trade for(Ryan Mallet?) or draft a QB with their second first rounder. Right now I refuse to believe they would take any QB besides Bridgewater or Manziel at #4 . Watkins is a stud though. Pair him with Josh Gordon & Jordan Cameron and any decent QB coming in is going to have a good shot at success .Like Gordon , Watkins also profiles as a # 1 receiver ,who can also help in the return game . The chances of stopping Watkins, Gordon, and Cameron is a really tall order.

The rams have made it clear they are willing to move back and get even more picks. If they can pull it off and still get Mathews(that probably means just Jacksonville , Cleveland or Oakland) that would be a coup . In this case it worked and they now have 2 first round picks this year , and one next year. Roger Saffold will probably sign for more money with a team that's willing to pay him more to play tackle. If Jake Long isn't fully healed from his torn ACL by next season Matthews can fill that void .He has the ability to play every O-line position and then slide over full time when Long is done. After the 2015 season they can cut Long with very little dead money anyway, and right tackle Joe Barksdale is a free agent after this season as well .This son of a Hall of Famer was better than any of the tackles in last years draft in our opinion, and they went 1rst, 2nd and 4th in the overall. He would be an upgrade at every spot on the O-line considering the uncertainty of Longs health . With Sam Bradford knocked out for the season again it's about time protecting him became their top priority.

6.ATLANTA-(clev)-GREG ROBINSON-OT-AUBURN-NFL COMP-JOE STALEY-SF-The Falcons were replacing the entire right side of their line at the start of the season . RT Tyson Clabo was their best lineman and they cut him before the season in a salary cap move . LT Sam Baker is inconsistent, injury prone, and after week 10 he was put on season ending IR. Baker's replacement Lamar Holmes was much worse. Add the fact that 2 rookie corners were counted on to be key players this year and the falcons weren't too good this year . Quite frankly, I was surprised that Matt Ryan survived the year without missing any serious time due to injury after watching that line . Robinson is a mauler that will  help keep Ryan upright and greatly improve their push in the run game. Robinson has had a great year ,but in a really run heavy offense ,and until recently he wasn't someone I saw as a threat to enter this years draft. After the rumors of him coming out this year started circulating I started doing my due diligence on him, but I only had 3 games of his still left on my Tivo plus the upcoming National championship game. The first game film of his that I broke down forced me to give him the nick name of "pancake". That's how brutal a finisher he can be  when run blocking, especially when he is collapsing down from the side or going up field.  He has played pretty well when I have seen him pass block ,but at less than 20 pass snaps a game I am not as confident about him starting out well in the NFL on the blind side . Both of the guys I currently have ranked ahead of him would be better left tackles out of the gate to me . I wouldn't be surprised if he started out at right tackle . After the national championship game I still feel the same ,although I am sure that NFL O-line coaches are lining up to man crush on a player that plays with his physicality , athleticism , and mean streak . I need to find the rest of his earlier game tape to fully flesh out more of his evaluation , but I am pretty comfortable that he will still be what I see now. Robinson is a elite athlete for his size that can anchor this O-line for a long time if he can fulfill his potential, but he is not all there yet . At the very least he will probably be a dominant run blocker at whatever position they put him at if he is blocking down , up field, or on the move.  Keep this in mind though -he was straight up overpowered heads up in-line blocking against Florida states Mario Edwards in the National championship game on  multiple occasions . Against stronger DE's he may struggle to get a push heads up. Plus Robinson can start the season at right tackle if Sam Baker is healthy and switch over to the left side if Bakers hurt or plays badly again . The falcons badly need pass rush help ,multiple O-lineman, and a new TE. Don't be surprised if they trade back to gather more picks to fill those needs.

7.TAMPA BAY-KHALIL MACK-OLB-BUFFALO-NFL COMP-BRIAN ORAPKO-WASH-Tampa Bay internally imploded this season . Their talented roster and once promising season went down the drain .  Josh Freeman seems to have lost it and was let go. Rookie 3rd rounder Mike Glennon got a shot to start and actually played OK . Glennon has a strong arm , but he is also thin and immobile . Right now he may be better than Freeman but that's not saying a lot since Josh barely resembles the young franchise QB he was in 2010 . Glennon played a lot better than Freeman though. As of now we are betting that Glennon gets at least one shot at a full season as the QB. The best player available is Mack.  Since the bucs have gotten nothing but subpar to horrible play from their DE's this season a bulked up Mack would also fill a big need. Khalil is an elite athlete who has the strength, frame, and agility to play in either 4-3 or 3-4. Mack also has the athleticism to play a similar role to the one Von Miller does in Denver. He has the size and speed to play the strong-side in a 4-3 and move down as a DE in obvious passing downs. When a guy from a smaller school is the best player on the field against a powerhouse like Ohio St. everyone takes notice.

8.VIKINGS-VIKINGS-BLAKE BORTLES-QB-UCF-NFL COMP-STEVE McNAIR-retired-I want to start by saying if for any reason Bridgewater or Manziel falls to here they should run to the podium and take either  .Christian Ponders injury history and fragile psyche worries me. He missed significant time this year, the Vikes had a bad record, and he didn't play that well anyway . Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman both got a shot this season too and neither did anything to win the long term job . The Vikes need a QB badly but their isn't another one worth this pick right now. At least not with current coaching staff ... , but with Mike Zimmer  hiring QB guru Norv Turner I would be okay with them taking Blake Bortles with this pick. The Vikes have a strong O-Line and running game .Plus you know Zimmer will make their defense better.  Those are things that give a young developing QB have a chance at success . I admit I had never even heard of Blake until they played S. Carolina , and while he was up & down on that day, it was more his tools that impressed me. I have watched every game since. He is built like a LB and because of that you won't worry about him so much when he takes off running. In addition to his scrambling ability he also has a strong arm ,was the main reason UCF beat Bridgewater-lead Louisville, and just led his team to a victory over Baylor in another up and down game . In the end despite some mistakes his intangibles are those of a winner and he did lead his team to the victory. He needs polish in many areas but his skill set under Norv Turner is a gamble I would take in this case.

9.BUFFALO-TAYLOR LEWAN-OT-MICHIGAN-NFL COMP-JAKE LONG-RAMS- Right tackle Erik Pears is serviceable as a pass blocker but in this run first offense you need a push he just doesn't give. Lewan would be an upgrade in both areas and protecting EJ Manuel and opening holes for CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson should be this franchises main concern. They also might want to trade back and acquire more picks , because they really need help at guard and TE .

10.LIONS-#MIKE EVANS-WR-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-VINCENT JACKSON-TB Back before the Lions finally found their long term #1 WR in Calvin Johnson in the 2007 draft they had already taken three other guys in first round with very little success. From 2003 #2 overall Charles Rogers, 2004 #7 Overall Roy Williams , and 2005 #10 overall Mike Williams they got the equivalent of 2 good seasons and a whole lot of pissed off fans. Although in addition to being the one guy who gave them 2 good seasons Roy Williams at least brought them a haul of draft picks when Jerry Jones foolishly gave them way too much for his disappointing talents. Since Calvin came along they have struggled to find a #2 wide receiver. Whether its through free agency or the draft no one has measured up for a myriad of reasons. Johnson has routinely been double/ triple teamed by anyone with a brain because no other Lions receiver has been successful enough to make them back off him. New coach Jim Caldwell will see the same thing and this is the best way to remedy the situation. Evans would give Stafford 2 giant (both about 6"5"and 240 pounds) sure handed targets on the outside.. Throw in 6"5" and 6"7" TE's Pettigrew and Fauria over the middle and Matthew Stafford completely sucks if he can't get it done . 

11.TITANS-CJ MOSLEY-ILB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-DERRICK JOHNSON-KC- Between often injured Colin McCarthy & subpar Moisee Fokou the titans have a gaping hole at ILB that CJ can fill. LB's that can cover or rush the passer are the only ones worth drafting in the 1rst round in todays pass happy NFL. CJ can also play the middle or the weakside . While I am not a big fan of Jake Locker as a QB, they were winning before Jake got hurt and that probably buys him another season.

12.NYG-ANTHONY BARR-DE/OLB-UCLA-NFL COMP-DeMARCUS WARE-DALL- The giants don't have one above average LB on the inside or outside. Once great Jon Beason was a shell of his former self and the talented Keith Rivers was just average, The giants pass rush wasn't the same last year and JPP may never have that same explosive burst after back surgery. Justin Tuck is in his 30's now and has faded some. When healthy he is still a above average player but his health has been spotty for years. Finally we come to Mathias Kiwanuka. He just plain sucked last year. The athletic and versatile Barr would already be a better DE on the right side than Kiwanuka, at least on passing downs. I also believe they could use Barr at strong side backer the way Denver uses Von Miler .and the way the giants used to use Kiwanuka when he was good. No matter where he is used he will be a a pass rushing force.

13.RAMS-HA'HA CLINTON DIX-S-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-S-MINN-In the last 2 years under Jeff Fisher the rams have made a large jump in talent thanks to the RG3 trade and a few free agent deals. The area they have neglected is safety with only the injured TJ McDonald being brought in through the draft. Why they cut Quintin Mikel is beyond me and this will probably be a need . Dix has been a great player, in a great conference, against top competition. We doubt his little suspension for taking a short term loan will hurt him with NFL teams.

Henry Melton was playing this year under the franchise tag before an ACL tear, and who knows if he will be brought back next year . Even if he is resigned they are still running the Tampa 2 ,and front four pass rush is crucial to that defense. Another pass rushing DT next to Melton is a huge need even if they do keep him . Jernigan is strong enough to play the one technique next to Melton . He also is quick and athletic enough to blossom into an elite 3 technique . If his knee(injury was from 2012) checks out for the long term he could go a lot higher.

 15.STEELERS-JUSTIN GILBERT-CB-OKLA.ST-NFL COMP-PATRICK PETERSEN-AZ-Ike Taylor has had a great career for Pittsburgh but his once great speed is fading . Add that he had a horrible year , that this defense desperately needs to get younger,  that the cash strapped Steelers can save 7 million by cutting him , and I doubt he will be back next season. Gilbert would give them a new tall ,young, healthy, physical corner to cover the AJ Greens & Josh Gordons of the division . Gilberts improvements this year is staggering. Throw his kick returning ability in the mix and Pittsburgh has a new # 1 corner. 

16.*DALLAS-AARON DONALD-DT-PITT-NFL COMP-LA'ROI GLOVER-(retired)-With the injury prone and bitter Jay Ratliff finally cut & free agent to be ( who says he will go wherever the most money is) Jason Hatcher over thirty , and Dallas sticking with the Tampa 2 defense DT is a huge need. Pressure from the front 4 is essential in this defense  and Dallas has a horrible cap situation .It's on the D-Line where the cowboys have had an unprecedented rash of injuries so it should be somewhere on the D-line that they use multiple picks in this draft. A replacement for coming off a franchise tag (and almost completely lost season )Anthony Spencer might also be a possibility . It is even possible future HOFer Demarcus Ware could be cut in a salary cap move. He is still very good ,but after back-to-back injury riddled down seasons can they afford to pay him a 12 million plus base salary , or push that money farther into the future ? Even though they had a historically bad defense under Monte Kiffin Dallas is keeping him around to see if they can make it work with a healthy D-line.  I really expected Aaron Donald's size limitations to make him available at the end of the 1rst ,or top of the second round. However, after he dominated the Senior Bowl he deserves to go in the top 20. If Louis Nix is healed up and in shape come draft day he could go here instead .

17.RAVENS-KELVIN BENJAMIN-WR-FLA ST-NFL COMP-CALVIN JOHNSON-DET-It's obvious that the ravens offense really misses Anquan Boldin. Benjamin can give Flacco a new big possession WR that can win jump balls, move the chains, give the team 2 deep threats on the outside, and team with Torrey Smith to spread out the defense. Todd Martin isn't that far behind in talent from Jake Matthews. Like Jake he may be able to play all 5 O-line positions . The Ravens could need 2 new starting O-lineman this season. With the depth of wide receivers in this draft they may just take a lineman in the first and a receiver later.

18.NYJ-ERIC EBRON-TE-N.CAR-NFL COMP-DWAYNE ALLEN-INDY-If you want Geno Smith to succeed it stands to reason that he will need better receivers. While young Stephen Hill is immensely talented,  he is still very raw . The only dependable receiver the Jets currently have is the injury prone, soon to be 30, high priced ,one more failed drug test away from a long suspension Santonio Holmes. Ebron can give Geno a big target that's hard to miss. Ebron would also give them an elite athlete that would be a mismatch for opposing defenses ,and a young TE who shown the willingness to block in those rare snaps when he will be lined up as an inline blocker. Sky's the limit for this kid if he wants it .

 19.MIAMI-ZACK MARTIN-T/G-N.DAME-NFL COMP-JORDAN GROSS-TB-Miami was already getting subpar play from their OT's before the Richie Incognito scandal. Now they need a guard and a tackle. . Considering that the only long term lineman they can count on is center Mike Pouncey a versatile one would be the best fit . Martins positional flexibility would give them a better chance at getting their best 5 lineman on the field at the same time. Zach pulled off a amazing feat this bowl season ; he actually won the MVP award of a bowl game ! Thats right! An O-lineman was acknowledged as the main man of the new era pinstripe bowl ! Being a former O-lineman and coach of O-lineman myself, I must admit Zach is now my favorite player in the draft. I saw him as more of a second rounder who might be a better fit at guard and his short arms make it harder to stay at tackle . However, after being MVP of the bowl game I say let him play tackle and see if he can hang with quicker guys outside. He also kicked ass and took names at the senior bowl . So tackle it is.

20.ARIZONA-CYRUS KOUANDJIO-OT-ALA-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-While I expect the cardinals offense to be much improved with Carson Palmer and a improved O-line, the loss of DC Ray Horton & the lack of pressure I expect them to get on the QB means their defense should be a problem. Even then they are a solid team. but the NFC west is now the most talented division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks are legitimate perennial super bowl contenders, the young and talented rams would be a playoff contender in every other division in my opinion and they are only going to get better from this draft. The cards finally gave up on former LT Levi Brown early in the year, and turned the blindside over to preseason waiver wire pickup Bradley Sowell. That hasn't gone very well either. I thought Kouandjo would have been better off returning to school for his long term prospects. Considering how inconsistent he has been this year it was a surprise he came out. I think the fact that Ogbuehi . Erving , and Collins returned to school and thinned out the OT talent pool( making him close to a lock in the 1rst round ) probably ended up guaranteeing his early entry though . While I don't like him as a NFL left tackle right now , and wouldn't take him in the first round, someone will. I do believe in his long term potential as a RT . He would still be a upgrade over anyone the cards have at LT right now.

21.PACKERS-(retired)-#JACE AMARO-TE-TEXAS TECH -NFL COMP-JEREMY SHOCKEY-P The pack needs an elite athlete to replace the elite athleticism of Jermichael Finley. Finley is as talented as they come but his mental errors. inconsistent hands, injury history, and lack of will to help out blocking make him expendable . Throw in a possibly career threatening neck injury and we wonder if he plays anywhere next year. Jace has the same type of ability but he looks like he's trying a lot harder than Finley. If not for some character concerns he would be long gone by now and the pack would be wise to snap him up. His blocking would help their new running game and to keep Rodgers healthy. His receiving ability would make their offense rival Denver's.

 22.EAGLES-CALVIN PRYOR-S-LVILLE-NFL COMP-KENNY PHILLIPS-NYG-No safety on the Eagles roster played worth a damm last year. Even once promising Nate Allen has never returned to form after the injury that sidelined him late in his rookie year. Chip Kelly likes to show a lot of looks and blitzes, but he can't do it without someone that he can depend on as the last line of defense. Pryor can not only save you in the back half he is a physical intimidator that offensive skill players should come to fear in the near future. If I were the eagles I would try to bring in 2 new starting safety's. One in free agency and one in the draft. This might be a little high for Pryor but he is the second best player in the draft who was a full time safety  (don't rule out Lemarcus Joyner because he can play safety & CB) this season.

23.CHIEFS-*MARQUISE LEE-WR-USC-NFL COMP-TORRY HOLT-(retired)-The best thing about Dwayne Bowe is his blocking. His hands are suspect ,he is getting slower by the year, and he got arrested with weed last season. Although, as a #2 in a run first offense he is a good fit . Donnie Avery is injury prone and his best roll would be as a #3 in the slot. Add that Andy Reid has shown a willingness to draft WR's high and this is a good fit . Lee was the clear #1 WR going into this season. Due to Layne Kiffin's bad play calling, iffy QB play, and injuries Lee had a down year . He played (along with everyone else at USC)  a lot better after Kiffin''s departure . After a lot of silly drops early on he had his best games at the best times  . Lee can be the #1 WR this offense needs and also help out in the return game.

24.BENGALS-DARQUEZE DENNARD-CB-MICH.ST-NFL COMP-JOE HADEN-CLEV-Between Leon Halls injury, Terrence Newman's age(36 next season) , and Dre Kirkpatrick's failure to develop , Pac man Jones is the only reliable corner they have next year. When a guy with his track record is the guy you "can "count on that's scary. Don't be surprised if the Bengals take a QB here. The Bengals have one of the 3 most talented rosters from top to bottom in the league. They also have a top 5 O-line and a ton of talent at the skill positions. What they lack is a strong armed QB that can avoid turning the ball over too much. I truly believe if any of the other QB's in the playoffs were the Bengals starter they would be the AFC favorite to go the super bowl. They could also trade up for/sign a veteran QB to compete for the starting QB job , because Dalton does not make enough money to preclude them adding a more expensive QB. They could take the talented but unpolished Blake Bortles ,or recovering from injury Zach Mettenburger here if either falls that far. Bortles is certainly more talented than Dalton. After watching his team get a big win against Baylor I have to say I was less impressed with his immediate prospects. He looks like a talented guy that needs to sit , learn the pro game , and improve his mechanics for awhile . Mettenburgers injury would probably keep him from taking the job out of the gate, but it would also give him time to learn the offense and take over if Dalton faltered again .First round QB's are generally pushed to start right away though.

25.CHARGERS-JASON VERRET-CB-TCU-NFL COMP-TERRANCE NEWMAN-CINC-I believe the Chargers top 4 corners are the worst set in the league. Verret would give the Chargers the chance to have one corner play decent man to man against Denver. He's a playmaker that has played his best ball in the biggest games , has shut down the other teams top receiver multiple times, and is absolutely fearless anywhere on the field.

26.CLEV-(,indy)-*ZACH METTENBURGER-QB-LSU-NFL COMP-JOE FLACCO-BALT- Mettenburger looked like a definite first rounder and possibly a top 10 pick before he tore his knee late in the season. He is a big , tall, strong pocket passer. Too bad they pissed off Norv Turner with the way they got rid of Chudzinski. He would have been perfect for Zach as a tutor. They tried to steal Cam Cameron away from LSU this week but were denied. Since Cam was instrumental in Mettenburger's massive improvements this season this pick makes sense. Maybe they will hire another QB guru and take Mettenburger anyway . Whether it's Zach, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo. or they trade or sign a QB ; I just don't buy Brian Hoyer as the man .

27.SAINTS- DEE FORD-OLB/DE-AUBURN-NFL COMP-CLAY MATTHEWS-GB-The saints switched to a 3-4 this season and the out-for-the-year Victor Butler was their best fit as an OLB. Junior Gallete did have his moments this season, but I still think they need an upgrade on the outside. Pass rush is the entire key to the Saints defensive scheme and Ford is the kind of versatile pass rusher that can play multiple roles in the Saints defense. I was surprised when Ford showed up at the senior bowl and measured in at 6"2" and 243 lbs. Despite being a playmaker on film I thought he was closer to 6"1" and 225 pounds. , and that he would only be a situational pass rusher in the NFL until he bulked up.   If he just bulked up recently it certainly didn't hamper him any . He has dominated the the senior bowl practices and game . We are betting 3-4 teams that miss out on Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack will be giving him a good long look. Some 4-3 teams may even be thinking he can play a Von Miller role.

Like the Houston Texans before them the panthers seem destined to wait far too long to draft a top receiver. Steve Smith is past his prime & undersized, but he is still the best WR on this team . You would think they would want to do everything they can to help their young franchise QB succeed, but they sure are going about it in a weird way.  Robinson is like a more even tempered Dez Bryant and that is scary to a defense. If he runs well he could go much higher.

29.PATRIOTS-PATRIOTS-STEPHON TUITT-DE/DT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-RICHARD SEYMOUR-(fa)-It goes without saying that an elite TE to pair with perennially injured Rob Gronkowski would be their first choice. The only TE"s in this draft with a 1rst round grade are gone in this scenario. So are TE sized receivers Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin, but there is great value for them in this case . Bill Belichick has always preferred to run a 3-4 defense ,but has lacked the personnel to do so for the last couple of years. Tuitt is that rare prototype 5technique DE that can set the edge against the double team, but still provide a pass rush. Tuitt also has the size , length, and experience. in a 3-4 that Belichick would covet.  Add that he can slide inside and do the job when they go to nickel , and this pick makes a lot of sense if he's there when they are on the clock. Since they are they Patriots a trade back is likely if they don't have someone they really covet left on the board when their turn comes.

30.SAN FRANCISCO-BRANDIN COOKS-WR-ORE.ST-NFL COMP-PERCY HARVIN-SEA-Right now the best option the 49ers receiving core has to run by the defense is (30 years old next year) TE Vernon Davis. Boldin and Crabtree are more big bodied move the chains guys , and Boldin is a free agent after this season . Cooks would not only be lightning out of the slot, he could also open up their offense with reverses/end arounds, and give them a guy that can run right past the defense that it would be hard for even cannon-armed Kaeperneck to overthrow. With his explosive burst and jitterbug moves I would try to use him in the return game as well.

31.DENVER-KONY EALY-DE/OLB-MIZZOU-NFL COMP-OSI UMENYIORA-ATL-The 2 best pass rushers in Denver last season were Elvis Dumervill and Von Miller. Between Dumervill's agent making a mistake that cost him his spot in Denver and Von Miller's drug suspension , and now Millers tore up knee they have very little they can count on in this area. Will Miller be the same guy without the chemical help and coming off a major knee injury? Don't know .but even if he is they need someone else that can rush the passer off the edge. Ealy is a versatile player who can rush off the edge , move inside on obvious passing downs, and he also has the athleticism to drop into coverage if needed,

32.SEATTLE-SCOTT CRICHTON-DE-ORE.ST-NFL COMP-RYAN KERRIGAN-WASH-(retired)-First and foremost Pete Carroll is a defensive coach who wants to attack. The hawks have become a destination for players seeking a ring now. They ended up getting both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on short term deals at a reasonable price last off season .Both had excellent years rushing the passer, but Bennett's deal was only for 1 year, as opposed to Avril's 2 year deal. The Seahawks have a lot of young cheap players right now due to excellent drafting, but they aren't very far away from free agency ,and are going to get a lot more expensive soon . Just to keep the core pro bowlers that are going to be free agents very soon like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas is going to be very expensive in 2015-16. Bennett's great year is going to make him a lot of money in free agency that they can't match if they want to retain those core player long term . Since I highly doubt he will take another 1 year deal even for a hefty raise they are going to need a replacement . Crichton plays with the strength to hold down the strong side , and has the burst & motor of a great pass rusher . He will fit right in with Pete's excitable bunch.


  1. Interesting Mock...well thought out and informative. Since you are including trades however, there is very little chance the 49ers stay at 30.... with comp picks they will go into the draft with 13-14 picks. Baltimore is sitting at 17 with just 4 picks for instance. They will in all likelihood find a trade partner and it will not be to trade down.

    1. Thanks. I absolutely agree with you. Last year I actually had them moving up for a safety in my mocks before the draft. Only I thought they would go higher and get Vaccaro. Dallas is also a team with a lot of needs again. I could see them making another trade with the cowboys since Dallas took less than market value for their pick last year. The thing that's hard to judge with the 49ers is what needs they will have after free agency. They have one of the 5 most talented rosters in the game. Since they don't actually need a lot right now ,and very few rookies are likely to make their roster, I could also see them trading more picks in this year's draft for future picks again. We know they will at least need one recover and a speed threat would make the most sense. They have managed their cap well enough that they could easily bring back Boldin if they wish to. After free agency and the combine when I have a clearer vision of team needs and who might go where I will be throwing in more trades. If he were to fall out of the top 8-10 I wouldn't even be surprised if the niners went up for Watkins.

    2. Watkins would be my "pie in the sky" pick, I doubt he will fall that far, but here's hoping. You may be right about Dallas, they could probably trade down and still get a top DT. It will be interesting to see what Cle. does with 2 1's, 2 3rds and 2 4ths (not to mention lots of cap space for FA's)......another candidate for trading up? As far as the 49ers and free agency, I think they draft WR and CB no matter what, Safety if Whitner leaves, DL etc. It seems iffy that they would sign any notable FA with their limited CAP space, but you never know. Still want a WR in the first though.

    3. If you got the ammo you might as well use it for something you need. I am putting out my first 2 round mock of the year on Thursday . I am going to incorporate your suggestion of trading up into it, but for a corner. I just don't see Watkins falling far enough for them to go after him. Its also quite possible that with the depth at WR in this draft a speed receiver like Brandin Cooks or Paul Richardson will be there at #56 when the niners use the pick they got from the Chiefs. Also keep in mind the 49ers have 2 first round talents in Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore now ready to make their first real contributions to the team. Add them to a Corey Lemonier having a NFL off season in the weight room , the hope that Vance McDonald learns how to catch , and your draft & free agency hauls , and it's quite likely that Frisco will be the Superbowl favorite next year no matter what happens Sunday.

  2. Yep. I wouldn't mind Lee at WR either, but they could very well go CB. The luxury of many picks and few needs affords picks like Lattimore and Tank.... they could be the most likely candidate for Colvin this year as well. Assuming you go CB/WR in a two round mock I will have to look in to see who you select with their other second rounder.

    1. As for Colvin I'll worry about him when I go to 4th round. The niners ,packers ,rams, Bengals , and Seahawks are the only teams with deep enough rosters and few enough needs to logically make that pick right now . After free agency and the first 3 rounds that could change though. I am also taking into account Frisco's future draft needs in any trade . Feel free to let me know what you think Thursday. Its always good to get feedback from someone who knows their team well.